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Issue 12, 2008
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Egg beater as centrifuge: isolating human blood plasma from whole blood in resource-poor settings

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates that a hand-powered egg beater can be modified to serve as a centrifuge for separating plasma from human whole blood. Immunoassays used to diagnose infectious diseases often require plasma from whole blood, and obtaining plasma typically requires electrically-powered centrifuges, which are not widely available in resource-limited settings. Human whole blood was loaded into polyethylene (PE) tubing, and the tubing was attached to the paddle of an egg beater. Spinning the paddle pelleted the blood cells to the distal end of the PE tubing; the plasma remained as the supernatant. A cholesterol assay (run on patterned paper) demonstrated the suitability of this plasma for use in diagnostic assays. The physics of the system was also analyzed as a guide for the selection of other rotating systems for use in centrifugation. Egg beaters, polyethylene tubing, and paper are readily available devices and supplies that can facilitate the use of point-of-care diagnostics at sites far from centralized laboratory facilities.

Graphical abstract: Egg beater as centrifuge: isolating human blood plasma from whole blood in resource-poor settings

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jun 2008, accepted on 08 Aug 2008 and first published on 14 Oct 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B809830C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2008,8, 2032-2037
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    Egg beater as centrifuge: isolating human blood plasma from whole blood in resource-poor settings

    A. P. Wong, M. Gupta, S. S. Shevkoplyas and G. M. Whitesides, Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 2032
    DOI: 10.1039/B809830C

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